If we are what we Google, then Google Hot Trends — an hourly rundown of search terms "that experience sudden surges in popularity" — is the Web's best cultural barometer. Here's a sampling of today's top searches. (Rankings on Hot Trends list current as of 9 a.m.)
No. 13: "Ennis house": A downturn seems the perfect time to invest in an architectural masterpiece that's on the brink of falling down a hill. Frank Lloyd Wright's 1924 Mayan-inspired concrete structure, balanced precariously atop Los Feliz Hill in Los Angeles, is for sale . Asking price for the house that starred in Blade Runner : $15 million (plus $5 million to $7 million in additional necessary renovations).
No. 38: "quadruple witching": The recession has thrown some arcane moneyspeak into common usage but probably none so bizarre as "quadruple witching day." Quadruple witching day is the third Friday of every quarter (i.e., today ), and it marks the expiration of four types of financial contracts — stock index futures, stock index options, stock futures, and stock options. This should make for a volatile market today, though according to CNBC.com , two out of three quadruple witching days end up in the green.
No. 83: "world's oldest person": Tomoji Tanabe, the world's oldest man, is dead. He was 113. The AP reports that Tanabe, born Sept. 18, 1895, died peacefully in his sleep this morning. On the occasion of his being inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records , Tanabe offered this tip to aspiring centenarians: "Not drinking alcohol is the best formula for keeping myself healthy." According to U.N. projections, Japan will have almost 1 million centenarians by 2050 — more than any other country.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
Is It Offensive When Kids Use Bad Words for Good Causes?
Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data
The Real Secret of Serial
What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.